8-Year-Old Leukemia Patient Says Blood Donors Saved Her Life

Friday, December 14th 2012, 5:48 pm
By: News 9

News 9's holiday blood drive is Monday. We're partnering with the Oklahoma Blood Institute, where so many patients' lives are saved by generous people willing to give blood.

Eight-year-old Isabelle Ratcliffe will be the first to tell you that she's alive today because blood donors helped save her life. She was only seven when she was diagnosed with Leukemia.

Now, after chemo therapy and dozens of blood transfusions, she's on her way to remission.

This Christmas season, Isabelle Ratcliffe's family has a lot of reason to celebrate.

Ratcliffe spent much of her young life in the hospital. She was diagnosed with leukemia in July of last year.

"You never want to hear those kind of things about your child, you never really believe those things will happen to you," Rebekah Ratcliffe said.

Ratcliffe started chemo therapy last summer, and from the beginning, she needed a lot of blood.

"My cancer and my chemo killed my blood cells, so I didn't have much blood," Isabelle Ratcliffe said.

She spent five months in the hospital battling Leukemia, receiving more than 30 supplies of blood.

"Everyday they'd do blood tests to keep a close eye on everything, platelets and red blood cells and different proteins," Ratcliffe said.

She has a "beads of courage" necklace she showed to donors on a trip to the donation center.

Each bead represents a time she needed blood and received it from a donor.

Amazingly, Ratcliffe is now winning her fight against cancer.

"She's still with us, and you know, not everybody can say that, that they still have the ones they love with them," Ratcliffe said.

It's a fight Ratcliffe knows she couldn't have won alone.

"I think people that give blood are like superheroes because they save people's lives," Ratcliffe said,

Right now, doctors say Ratcliffe is in a maintenance therapy stage. She goes for blood tests every two weeks, and next Christmas, her family is hopeful she'll officially be cancer free.

News 9, The Bank of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Blood Institute, are asking you to roll up your sleeves to save a life.

We are hosting a blood drive right here at News 9 on N. Kelley from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.All donors will receive a baseball cap, health screenings and more.

News 9 Holiday Blood Drive

You will also be entered for a chance to win one of two one thousand dollar gift cards from Bank of Oklahoma.